From Middle English answere, andsware, from Old English andswaru (“answer”), from and- (“against”) + -swaru (“affirmation”), (from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ent- (“front,forehead”) and Old English swerian (“to swear”), from Proto-Indo-European *swer-), suggesting an original meaning of "a sworn statement rebutting a charge." The cognates suggest the existence of Proto-Germanic *andswara- (“a reply to a question”). Cognate with Old Frisian ondser (“answer”), Old Saxon andswōr (“answer”), Danish and Swedish ansvar (“liability, responsibility, answer”), Icelandic andsvar (“answer, response”). Compare also Old English andwyrde (“answer”) (cognate to Dutch antwoord, German Antwort), Old English andcwiss (“reply”), German Schwur (“oath, vow”).
answer (plural answers)
- A response or reply; something said or done in reaction to a statement or question.
- Her answer to his proposal was a slap in the face.
- A solution to a problem.
- There is no simple answer to corruption.
- (law) A document filed in response to a complaint, responding to each point raised in the complaint and raising counterpoints.
- Afrikaans: antwoord (af)
- Albanian: përgjigje (sq)
- Amharic: መልስ (mäls)
- Arabic: رَدّ m (radd), جَوَاب m (jawāb), إِجَابَة f (ʾijāba)
- Aragonese: please add this translation if you can
- Armenian: պատասխան (hy) (patasxan)
- Aromanian: apocrisi, apandisi, giuvapi f
- Asturian: respuesta f
- Azerbaijani: cavab (az)
- Baluchi: جواب (jawáb)
- Bashkir: яуап (yawap)
- Basque: erantzun
- Belarusian: адка́з m (adkáz)
- Bengali: উত্তর (uttôr)
- Breton: respont (br) m -où
- Bulgarian: о́тговор (bg) m (ótgovor)
- Burmese: အဖြေ (my) (a.hpre)
- Buryat: харюу (xarjuu)
- Catalan: resposta (ca) f
- Chechen: жоп (žop)
- Cherokee: please add this translation if you can
- Chichewa: yankho
- Cantonese: 回答 (wui4 dap3), 對答, 对答 (deoi3 dap3)
- Dungan: хуэйда (huejda), җәвабу (žəvabu)
- Mandarin: 回答 (zh) (huídá), 對答 (zh), 对答 (zh) (duìdá)
- Chukchi: татԓыӈ (tatḷyṇ)
- Cornish: gorthyp
- Corsican: risposta (co) f
- Crimean Tatar: cevap
- Czech: odpověď (cs) f
- Danish: svar (da) n
- Dutch: antwoord (nl) n
- Esperanto: respondo (eo)
- Estonian: vastus
- Faroese: svar n
- Finnish: vastaus (fi)
- French: réponse (fr) f
- Friulian: please add this translation if you can
- Gagauz: cuvap
- Galician: resposta (gl) f
- Georgian: პასუხი (ṗasuxi)
- German: Antwort (de) f
- Greek: απάντηση (el) f (apántisi), απόκριση (el) f (apókrisi)
- Ancient: ἀπόκρισις f (apókrisis), ὑπόκρισις f (hupókrisis)
- Greenlandic: akissut
- Gujarati: જવાબ (javāb), ઉત્તર (gu) (uttar)
- Hawaiian: pane
- Hebrew: תְּשׁוּבָה (he) f (t'shuvá)
- Hindi: जवाब (hi) m (javāb), उत्तर (hi) m (uttar)
- Hungarian: válasz (hu), felelet (hu)
- Icelandic: svar (is) n, ans n
- Ido: respondo (io)
- Indonesian: jawaban (id)
- Irish: freagra (ga) m
- Italian: risposta (it) f
- Japanese: 答え (ja) (こたえ, kotae), 回答 (ja) (かいとう, kaitō), 応答 (ja) (おうとう, ōtō)
- Kalmyk: хәрү (xärü)
- Karachay-Balkar: жауап (jawap)
- Kazakh: жауап (kk) (jawap)
- Khmer: ពាក្យឆ្លើយ (piək chlaəy)
- Korean: 대답 (ko) (daedap), 회답 (hoedap), 답 (ko) (dap)
- Koryak: аӈъягыйӈын (aŋyagəyŋən)
- Kumyk: жавап (javap)
- Kurmanji: cewab (ku)
- Sorani: وهڵام (wellam)
- Kyrgyz: жооп (ky) (coop)
- Lao: ຄຳຕອບ (kham tǭp)
- Latin: responsum n
- Latvian: atbilde f
- Lithuanian: atsakymas (lt) m
- Low German: Antwoort (nds) f
- Luxembourgish: Äntwert (lb) f
- Macedonian: одговор m (odgovor)
- Malay: jawaban, jawapan
- Maltese: wieġeb m
- Maori: please add this translation if you can
- Mirandese: respuosta f
- Mongolian: хариу (mn) (hariu)
- Nogai: явап (yavap)
- Northern Sami: vástádus
- Norwegian: svar (no) n
- Novial: please add this translation if you can
- Occitan: responsa (oc) f
- Old Church Slavonic:
- Cyrillic: отъвѣтъ m (otŭvětŭ)
- Old English: andswaru f, andwyrde n
- Old Norse: svar n
- Pashto: جواب (ps) m (ǰawãb), ځواب (ps) m (jwāb)
- Persian: جواب (fa) (javâb), پاسخ (fa) (pâsox), پیواژ (peyvâž) (archaic)
- Polish: odpowiedź (pl) f
- Portuguese: resposta (pt) f
- Romanian: răspuns (ro) n
- Russian: отве́т (ru) m (otvét), о́тповедь (ru) f (ótpovedʹ) (archaic or poetic)
- Scottish Gaelic: freagairt f
- Cyrillic: о̏дгово̄р m
- Roman: ȍdgovōr (sh) m
- Sicilian: risposta (scn) f
- Sinhalese: please add this translation if you can
- Slovak: odpoveď f
- Slovene: odgovor (sl) m
- Southern Altai: каруу (qaruu), јооп (zhoop)
- Spanish: respuesta (es) f
- Swahili: jibu (sw), jawabu (sw)
- Swedish: svar (sv) n
- Tagalog: sagot
- Tajik: жавоб (žavob)
- Tamil: விடை (ta) (viṭai)
- Tatar: җавап (tt) (cawap)
- Telugu: జవాబు (te) (javābu), సమాధానం (te) (samādhānaṃ)
- Thai: คำตอบ (kam-dtɔ̀ɔp)
- Turkish: yanıt (tr), cevap (tr)
- Turkmen: jogap (tk)
- Tuvan: харыы (harıı)
- Ukrainian: ві́дповідь (uk) f (vídpovidʹ)
- Urdu: جواب m (javāb), اتر (ur) (uttar)
- Uyghur: جاۋاب (jawab)
- Uzbek: javob (uz)
- Vietnamese: trả lời (vi), câu trả lời
- Volapük: please add this translation if you can
- Walloon: please add this translation if you can
- Waray-Waray: baton, tubag
- Welsh: ateb (cy)
- Yakut: эппиэт (eppiet), харда (xarda), хоруй (xoruy)
- Yiddish: ענטפֿער m (entfer)
- Zazaki: ciwab
document filed in response to a complaint
From Middle English answeren, andswaren, answerien, from Old English andswarian, answarien (“to answer, to respond, to deny an allegation under oath”), from Proto-Germanic *andaswarōną, *andaswarjaną (“to answer, to give a response, to rebut”), from *anda- (“against”) + *swarjaną, *swarōną (“to swear an oath, to answer, to respond”), from Proto-Indo-European *swer- (“to swear”) and *h₂ent- (“face, forehead”), equivalent to and- (“against, back”) + swear. Cognate with Old Frisian ondswera (“to answer”), Danish ansvare (“to answer, account for”), Swedish ansvara (“to answer, account for”), Icelandic andsvara (“to answer, reply”).
answer (third-person singular simple present answers, present participle answering, simple past and past participle answered)
- (transitive, intransitive) To make a reply or response to.
- 1593, William Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis,
- She answers him as if she knew his mind:
- 1611, King James Version of the Bible, 1 Kings 18:26,
- […] there was no voice, nor any that answered.
1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, in The Celebrity:
“Well,” I answered, at first with uncertainty, then with inspiration, “he would do splendidly to lead your cotillon, if you think of having one.” ¶ “So you do not dance, Mr. Crocker?” ¶ I was somewhat set back by her perspicuity.
He answered the question.
- (transitive) To speak in defence against; to reply to in defence.
- to answer a charge or accusation
- (transitive, intransitive) To respond to a call by someone at a door or telephone, or other similar piece of equipment.
She answered the door.
- Nobody answered when I knocked on the door.
- (transitive, intransitive) To suit a need or purpose satisfactorily.
1815, Jane Austen, Emma, volume III, chapter 6:
Mr. Knightley had done all in his power for Mr. Woodhouse’s entertainment. Books of engravings, drawers of medals, cameos, corals, shells, and every other family collection within his cabinets, had been prepared for his old friend, to while away the morning; and the kindness had perfectly answered.
- 1871, Alexander J. Ellis, On Early English Pronunciation, London: Trübner & Co., Part III, Chapter 7, section 1, p. 656, footnote 1,
- Of course for publication in a newspaper, my palaeotype would not answer, but my glossotype would enable the author to give his Pennsylvania German in an English form and much more intelligibly.
1903, Samuel Butler, chapter 41, in The Way of All Flesh:
Theobald spoke as if watches had half-a-dozen purposes besides time-keeping, but he could hardly open his mouth without using one or other of his tags, and "answering every purpose" was one of them.
It answers the need.
- To be accountable or responsible; to make amends.
- The man must answer to his employer for the money entrusted to his care.
- He has a lot to answer for.
- (law) To file a document in response to a complaint.
- To correspond to; to be in harmony with; to be in agreement with.
- 1775, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The Duenna, Dublin: G. Burnet et al., 1794, Act II, Scene 2, p. 25,
- Egad, I wish she had answer’d her picture as well.
- 1793, Bryan Edwards, The History, Civil and Commercial, of the British Colonies in the West Indies, Dublin: Luke White, Volume II, Book V, Chapter 2, p. 231,
- The use of dunder in the making of rum, answers the purpose of yeast in the fermentation of flour.
- To be opposite, or to act in opposition.
- 1786, William Gilpin, Observations, relative chiefly to picturesque beauty, made in the year 1772: on several parts of England; particularly the mountains, and lakes of Cumberland, and Westmoreland, London: R. Blamire, Volume II, Section 19, p. 85,
- The windows answering each other, we could just discern the glowing horizon through them […]
- To be or act in conformity, or by way of accommodation, correspondence, relation, or proportion; to conform; to correspond; to suit; usually with to.
- c. 1604, William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act III, Scene 1,
- […] that the time may have all shadow and silence in it; and the place answer to convenience.
- c. 1608, William Shakespeare, Pericles, Prince of Tyre, Act V, Scene 1,
- If this but answer to my just belief,
- I’ll well remember you.
- 1611, King James Version of the Bible, Proverbs 27:19,
- As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.
- 1727, Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels, London: B. Motte, Part I, A Voyage to Lilliput, Chapter 2, pp. 30-31,
- […] I might carry about me several Weapons, which must needs be dangerous things, if they answered the Bulk of so prodigious a Person.
- To respond to satisfactorily; to meet successfully by way of explanation, argument, or justification; to refute.
- 1611, King James Version of the Bible, Matthew 22:46,
- […] no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.
- 1671, John Milton, Samson Agonistes in Paradise Regain’d, to which is added Samson Agonistes, London: John Starkey, p. 73,
- These shifts refuted, answer thy appellant
- Though by his blindness maim’d for high attempts,
- Who now defies thee thrice to single fight,
- 1848, Thomas Babington Macaulay, The History of England from the Accession of James the Second, Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1849, Volume 3, Chapter 14, p. 354,
- The reasoning was not and could not be answered.
- To be or act in compliance with, in fulfillment or satisfaction of, as an order, obligation, or demand.
- He answered my claim upon him.
- The servant answered the bell.
- c. 1597, William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 1, Act I, Scene 3,
- […] this proud king […] studies day and night
- To answer all the debts he owes unto you
- 1764, John Nourse, Navigation Or, the Art of Sailing Upon the Sea (page 65)
- The faster a ship sails, the better she will answer her helm; if she sail very slow, she will scarce steer at all. If she heel much, she won't answer the helm so well.
- (obsolete) To render account to or for.
- c. 1597, William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 1, Act II, Scene 4,
- […] I will, by to-morrow dinner-time,
- Send him to answer thee, or any man,
- For any thing he shall be charged withal:
- (obsolete) To atone for; to be punished for.
- c. 1599, William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act III, Scene 2,
- […] The noble Brutus
- Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
- If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
- And grievously hath Caesar answer’d it.
- (obsolete) To be or act as an equivalent to, or as adequate or sufficient for; to serve for; to repay.
to make a reply or response to
- Albanian: përgjigjem (sq)
- Arabic: أَجَابَ (ʾajāba), رَدَّ (radda)
- Armenian: պատասխանել (hy)
- Aromanian: apãndisescu, apocrisescu
- Asturian: responder, contestar
- Azerbaijani: cavab vermək (az)
- Basque: erantzun
- Belarusian: адка́зваць impf (adkázvacʹ), адказа́ць pf (adkazácʹ)
- Bengali: উত্তর দেত্তয়া (uttôr dettya)
- Bulgarian: отговарям (bg) (otgovarjam), отвръщам (bg) (otvrǎštam)
- Burmese: ပြန်ကြား (my) (prankra:), ဖြေ (my) (hpre)
- Catalan: respondre (ca)
- Chichewa: -yankha
- Mandarin: 回答 (zh) (huídá), 答應 (zh), 答应 (zh) (dāying), 答覆 (zh) (dáfù)
- Cornish: gorthebi
- Czech: odpovědět (cs) pf
- Danish: svare (da)
- Dutch: antwoorden (nl)
- Esperanto: respondi (eo)
- Estonian: vastama
- Faroese: svara
- Finnish: vastata (fi)
- French: répondre (fr)
- Friulian: rispuindi
- Galician: responder (gl), contestar (gl)
- Georgian: პასუხობს (ṗasuxobs)
- German: antworten (de)
- Gothic: 𐌰𐌽𐌳𐍅𐌰𐌿𐍂𐌳𐌾𐌰𐌽 (andwaurdjan)
- Greek: απαντώ (el) (apantó), αποκρίνομαι (el) (apokrínomai)
- Ancient: ἀποκρίνομαι (apokrínomai)
- Hawaiian: pane
- Hebrew: עָנָה (he) (ana)
- Hindi: जवाब देना (javāb denā), उत्तर देना (uttar denā)
- Hungarian: válaszol (hu)
- Icelandic: svara (is), ansa (is)
- Ido: respondar (io)
- Indonesian: menjawab (id)
- Interlingua: responder
- Irish: freagair
- Italian: rispondere (it)
- Japanese: 答える (ja) (こたえる, kotaeru), 返事する (ja) (へんじする, henji suru)
- Kazakh: жауап беру (kk) (jawap berw)
- Khmer: ឆ្លើយ (km) (chlaəy)
- Korean: 대답하다 (ko) (daedaphada), 답하다 (ko) (daphada)
- Sorani: وهڵام (wellam)
- Kyrgyz: жооп берүү (ky) (coop berüü)
- Ladin: respuender
- Lamboya: baleha
- Lao: ຕອບ (tǭp)
- Latin: respondeō, resequor, referō (la)
- Latvian: atbildēt
- Lithuanian: atsakyti (lt)
- Luxembourgish: äntweren
- Macedonian: одговара (odgovara)
- Malay: jawab
- Mongolian: хариулах (mn) (hariulah)
- Neapolitan: risponne
- Norwegian: svare (no), svar (no) f
- Occitan: respónder, respondre (oc)
- Old English: andswarian, andwyrdan
- Old Norse: svara
- Persian: پاسخ دادن (fa) (pâsox dâdan), جواب دادن (fa) (javâb dâdan)
- Polish: odpowiedzieć (pl) pf
- Portuguese: responder (pt)
- Quechua: kutichiy
- Romanian: răspunde (ro)
- Romansch: respunder, raspunder, respuonder, rispunder
- Russian: отвеча́ть (ru) impf (otvečátʹ), отве́тить (ru) pf (otvétitʹ)
- Sardinian: respúndiri, arraspundi, rispòndhere, rispònnere
- Scottish Gaelic: freagair
- Cyrillic: одгово́рити pf
- Roman: odgovóriti (sh) pf
- Slovak: odpovedať impf, reagovať
- Slovene: odgovoriti (sl) pf
- Spanish: responder (es), contestar (es)
- Swahili: -jibu (sw)
- Swedish: svara (sv)
- Tajik: ҷавоб додан (tg) (javob dodan)
- Thai: ตอบ (th) (dtɔ̀ɔp)
- Tok Pisin: bekim tok
- Turkish: cevap vermek (tr)
- Turkmen: jogap bermek
- Ukrainian: відповіда́ти impf (vidpovidáty), відповісти́ pf (vidpovistý)
- Urdu: جواب دینا (javāb denā)
- Uyghur: جاۋاب بەرمەك (jawab bermek)
- Uzbek: javob bermoq
- Venetian: responder, risponder
- Vietnamese: trả lời (vi)
- Welsh: ateb (cy)
- Yiddish: ענטפֿערן (entfern)
to suit a need or purpose satisfactorily
law: to file a response to a complaint
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
Translations to be checked